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This hasn't happened in 600 years...a pope voluntarily giving up his job.
But Pope Benedict is doing just that, saying declining health has led him to resign. La Crosse Bishop William Callahan says he certainly didn't expect to hear the resignation announcement today, and wonders why the pope is choosing to make this move now. Callahan does not think that Benedict will try to endorse a successor...arguing that the pope is beyond the age where he would be allowed to participate in the selection process. Some church-watchers have mentioned former La Crosse Bishop Raymond Burke, who is now a cardinal, as a potential choice for pope.
(AP) Gov. Terry Branstad wants Iowa to be in the top 10 states for student standardized reading and math scores by 2019. Branstad laid out the goal during a news conference Monday, as he continued to push lawmakers to approve his $187 million education reform plan.
(AP) Candidates for Wisconsin Supreme Court and state superintendent of schools are required to file their latest campaign spending reports showing activity through Feb. 4. The reports due Monday are the last showing how much candidates have raised and spent before the Feb. 19 primary election.
(AP) Western Minnesota is hit hardest by a storm that dumped a foot of snow in the region and stranded motorists. Several highways in the area are closed, including Interstate 94 from Alexandria to Moorhead, and Highways 10 210. Sheriff's deputies in Grant and Douglas counties assisted drivers who became stranded.